VMware has launched VMware Anywhere Workspace, a solution that combines virtual desktop functionality with networking and security technologies into a single suite.
The goal is to make it simpler for IT organizations to provide end users with a secure, consistent experience regardless of where they are physically located, said Shankar Iyer, senior vice president and general manager for end user computing at VMware.
The need for that capability became more acute when employees in large numbers started working from home to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out globally, it’s apparent more employees will be heading back into the office. However, the number of full time, in office employees is unlikely to reach the same levels as it did prior to the pandemic, notes Iyer.
Elements of the VMware Anywhere Workspace include VMware Workspace ONE desktop and applications virtualization software, the VMware Carbon Black Cloud service for securing endpoints, and a secure access service edge (SASE) platform based on the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) platform the company also already provides.
VMware has been making a case for virtual desktops for years. However, as more employees move permanently to a work-from-anywhere model, VMware is making a more aggressive effort to encourage enterprise IT organizations to standardize on a stack of virtualization, security, and networking software it provides an an alternative to a best-of-breed approach made up of offerings from different vendors.
Vendors have often claimed that their suite of products is the best of the best, cheapest, and easiest choice versus products from a single vendor. Each IT organization needs to evaluate for themselves to what degree those claims bear out. In many cases, IT organizations may already have implemented an SD-WAN or endpoint security platform.
Remote Work and IT Costs
In general, virtual desktops were starting to gain momentum prior to the start of the pandemic largely because Microsoft began offering its own flavor of virtual desktops as a service on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) also offers its own equivalent. VMware, along with Citrix and others, have been countering with offerings that lend themselves more easily to hybrid cloud computing environments that include local data centers managed by internal IT teams.
Flexibility is always going to come at a cost. Enabling large numbers of employees to work from anywhere will raise the total cost of IT. Organizations, however, will soon find they have no choice but to absorb those costs. Otherwise, employees will leave for what they perceive to be greener IT pastures.
In fact, a recent survey of 1,003 individuals, published this week by Eagle Hill Consulting, finds more than three quarters (78 percent) of respondents said technology makes their job harder. Nearly two-thirds (65%) said technology makes their day-to-day work experience frustrating. More than a third (35%) said they are generally frustrated with the technology employed within their organization. It’s now only a matter of time before organizations will be forced to address those concerns if they expect to retain those employees.